The timepiece

At the present, I’m working at a Barramundi farm.

When I started in February 2016, I found I needed to keep an eye on the time throughout the day. I don’t keep my phone with me while I work as it would get soaked and die within the first few minutes. One particular day early in the piece, my boss became quite irate because I didn’t leave work on time. Yes: I worked a bit of unpaid overtime and my boss was upset. He’s a good guy. I told my partner about this little incident during our afternoon phone call (as I had to move away to take the job). Next time I saw her it was my birthday and she had bought me a waterproof watch as a gift.

It’s been a good watch, a very thoughtful present. I’ve never really worn one before. Sure, it’s a very handy device to have while I work. But, when I get home at the end of the day, it feels so good to take it off – liberating. Physically, my wrist feels lighter, freer and less restricted: a reflection of my mind. Psychologically, the oppression of the linear progression of time, meted out second-by-reductionist-second melts away; the pounding drum of time=money fades into the distance as I undo the band and quietly place the watch on the table. I am ever-so-slightly me again: calmer, more present. Slightly more in tune with the actual rhythm of life rather than the imposed abstract human rhythms of the second, the minute, the hour, the work day.

A thoughtful gift, symbol of love and kindness.

An inevitable burden. Industrial time.

Time instead well spent, to step, to stop, to smile and smell the sea foam.

I said to myself, if nothing changes, I will leave this job when the watch stops working. A superstitious link forged between the object and the life.

When it breaks is it trying to tell me something?

Can it be? Just so I can get on with it?

Or a way to avoid the burden of making a choice that could possibly go bad?

I would like a more challenging job

The watch has four buttons, and when you push the one on the lower left, it beeps.

Today marked a checkpoint on the infinite descent into deeper entropy:

the beeping stopped.

I paused.

The day I’m let go could be closer than I think.

-KF

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Off grid town

Tyalgum is a town of 300 in regional New South Wales that may well be the first in Australia to disconnect from the electricity grid and shift to renewable energy completely, generating all their power locally.

There are some obstacles to overcome before they achieve their self-sufficiency. Challenging but not insurmountable. It looks like most of the local populace is on board with the idea.

They need to raise a few million dollars, change state legislation and transfer ownership of the power infrastructure to the local government.

But in a few years Tyalgum could be a pioneer town for future living.

Check it out